1) I was wondering what methods you at Hasbro use to gauge the popularity of individual figures. You obviously see the sell-through rates of the whole cases you send, but in some of those cases certain figures, like Scorch recently, has a very fast sell-through while others like Darth Vader, Holographic Ki Adi Mundi, and Garindan do not move as quickly. Do you get direct customer feedback, visit forums, listen to podcasts, or some other means?
2) Many figures have histories of being exceedingly difficult to find, such as Ephant Mon, the McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper, TC-14, and others, all of which draw a high amount on the secondary market. Since you said recently in a previous Q&A that Hasbro’s focus is on the customer who aims for a complete, loose collection, are such figure’s rarities taken into account when determining figures for inclusion in battle packs, vehicle pack-ins, or rereleases? I noticed a couple of very hard to find figures have been re-released (Sith Eyed Anakin from the Episode III line was hard to find on pegs, but then included with the lightsaber two-pack at Toys R Us) or are coming out in ’07 (The McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper), so I wondered if people may keep hope for rereleases of the POTF2 EU figures, the last wave of Episode I figures, Ephant Mon, etc.
3) What is Hasbro’s opinion of the “scalping” that goes on with the Star Wars toys? Does the fact that people buy the figures from the big box retailers, allowing for faster case sell through and help the overall sales of Star Wars figures, considered a good thing by Hasbro, or is there a downside for Hasbro with scalping as well as for the collectors?
4) What is the reason for cloth capes and clothing in the regular 3 3/4" line? Will you be returning to all-plastic soon? I can sort-of understand cloth in the VSTC, but for the regular line I think molded plastic is more consistent with the modern sculpts and looks much nicer.
5) Why the short run on R2Potatoo? Actually, why end this line at all? It seems popular with kids and collectors, and has cross over appeal with the potato head crowd? I need a C3PO is needed to go with R2!
6) Does Hasbro do things like actually go to stores and look at the pegs to see what hot and what just warming the pegs?